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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JULY IV Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 31 at ERBzine 7598a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
SMALL IS GOOD
July 1: On this day in 2016, “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgard, Margo Robbie, and Samuel Jackson was released and opened around the world in Canada, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Poland, New Zealand, and yes, the United States. The film grossed $356 million worldwide and received mixed reviews. In terms of total earnings, its biggest markets outside of the United States were China ($45.1 million), Mexico ($13.7 million) and the U.K. and Ireland ($11.9 million).
For reviews and detailed information about the film, visit https://www.erbzine.com/mag58/5813.html
Rory J. Saper played the eighteen year old Tarzan and Christian Stevens played Tarzan as a five year old.
The drabble for today, “Small is Good,” was inspired by the film and the actor, Samuel L. Jackson.
During a break in filming, Alexander Skarsgard toweled off after a swimming scene and peeked over Samuel L. Jackson’s shoulder. “Whatcha looking at?”
SMALL IS GOOD
“I downloaded yesterday’s rushes to my cellphone. The third take where I run with the elephants is best of the lot.”
Skarsgard watched for a couple of minutes and shook his head. “Samuel, you’re doing it wrong?”
“What’s wrong with how I run?”
“Nothing’s wrong with the way you run, but it’s how you’re watching the footage. You should watch on a bigger screen.”
“Why would I do that? I think I look pretty good in miniature!”
July 2: On this day in 1930, the London Publisher, Collins, published the first UK first edition of the “Tarzan Twins.” The dust jacket artwork is credited to ‘Swalee.’ The book was priced at 3/6 or three shillings and six pence. Some internet sites give the publication year as 1928, but https://sites.google.com/.../erburroug.../project-definition , a site listing ERB British first editions says 1930 and that’s the year I’ve used here.
Collins Publishing survives to this day in a matter of speaking. HarperCollins remains a large and successful publishing house.
A very detailed publishing history of "The Tarzan Twins," complete with several illustrations is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0498.html
The drabble for today is “Jungle Lost,” and it’s adapted from the blurb on the dust jacket flap.
In The Tarzan Twins, Edgar Rice Burroughs has written yet another thrilling tale of adventure in the heart of the jungle. The Tarzan Twins has, however, been written specially for the younger generation, who’ll find the amusing yet dangerous escapades of Dick and Doc no less thrilling than the exploits of the famous Tarzan of the Apes. How they lose their way in the jungle, are captured by cannibals, kill a lion, and are rescued by Tarzan himself, makes and exciting and interesting story.
Tarzan says, “In the jungle only the brave may live. I am very proud of you.”
July 3: On this day in 2019, author Geary Gravel, began writing, “John Carter and the Gods of the Forgotten,” the third novel in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe series published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. I enjoyed this book very much and was quite impressed by the research the writer did to tie in as many things from the Burroughs’ John Carter books. Geary’s story was well-grounded in the world of Barsoom, well written, and very entertaining. I strongly recommend it.
The book can be ordered directly from ERB, INC.
Geary has eleven other novels to his credit (that I know of), including adaptions of the Batman animated series, “Hook: A Novel for Young Readers” based on the film of the same name, and his 1984 novel, “The Alchemists,” which was nominated for a Philip K. Dick award.
The drabble for today is “Good Kitty,” and it was inspired by the title of Geary’s John Carter novel. In all fairness to Geary’s book, the 100 word drabble has nothing to do with his excellent story.
Dejah Thoris asked, “Earthmen have many religions, do they not?”
Carter answered, “Indeed. Gods and their worshipers come and go like sands in the wind.”
“Do old gods die or are they forgotten?”
“It’s very confusing. Many gods have been forgotten or their worshipers are lost to history. Men know of Atlantis, but not its gods. The Babylonians had gods named Enlil, Nabu, and Utu, but no one remembers them."
“That seems strange.”
“Atonism was sun worship. Everyone knows the sun, but the atonists are long forgotten. In ancient times, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats haven’t forgotten that fact.”
TURN YOUR RADIO ON
July 4: On this day in 1776, Roger Sherman signed the Declaration of Independence. His great- great grandson, Roger Sherman Hoar, wrote several science fiction stories under the pseudonym, Ralph Milne Farley, including the Radio Man stories, which took place on Venus and were written in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Originally published in the pulps, the novels were reprinted by Ace Books to capitalize on the Burroughs revival of the 1960s. “The Radio Man,” “The Radio Beasts,” and “The Radio Planet,” are the best know works of this former Massachusetts State Senator and assistant Attorney General.
The Radio Man was also published under the title, “An Earthman on Venus.” If you haven’t read his work, you might give it a try. https://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1514.html
The drabble for today is “Turn Your Radio On,” and it was inspired by the adventures of the earthman on Venus, Myles Cabot, and his communication with the Venusians by radio.
Myles Cabot finally built a strong enough radio to reach Earth. He explained life on Venus and his marriage to the princess Lilla.
TURN YOUR RADIO ON
“So, Myles, every creature on the planet only vocalize through radio frequencies?”
“Correct, different species use different frequencies. All native creatures hear several frequencies. I had to create a scanner so my radio could hear all creatures within range.'
“You communicate with your wife by radio?”
“Yes, she’s was a princess and is quite talkative and opinionated.”
“If she talks too much, you can simply turn off your radio.”
“Not if I want to live, I can't?
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
July 5: On this day in 1954 the story arc, “Tarzan and the Zomangani” drawn by John Celardo and written by Dick Van Buren began in the Tarzan daily comic strip. In the strip, the Zomangani are cave men, who are enemies of the Tarmangani. In the Tarzan novels, the great apes call themselves ‘mangani,’ African natives are ‘gomangani,’ and white men are ‘tarmangani.’ This one is very well drawn and the story, while a little convoluted for the daily comics is very well done.
All eighty of the strips may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag38/3820.html
The zomangani are ‘hairy beast-men, somewhere between the mangani and humans. They use clubs as weapons and upon winning a battle voice the victory cry of the bull apes. Tarzan befriends one of the zomangani named Omat, who claims to be the hereditary king of his tribe. Tarzan offers to help him regain the throne. Omat wins a duel with his usurper, but in the aftermath discovers that his woman, Fawna is missing. The zomangani must stay to protect his throne and Tarzan goes in search of Fawna, who has been taken by a massive bolgani (gorilla.)
Tarzan defeats the gorilla with Fawna’s help. She is an attractive woman, bearing no resemblance to the beast-men. In this respect, the story reflects the population of Opar, beast-men and gorgeous women. After a long battle with a mastodon, Tarzan tames the creature and rides it to a lost Viking city, whose residents are enemies of the zomangani and briefly believe Tarzan to be a god.
After a battle, he escapes into the women’s quarters where Fawna is being held as a handmaiden to Princess Alure (Nice name for a beautiful woman). Tarzan is recaptured and imprisoned with the son of the rightful Viking king. (You’re keeping this straight, right.)
Tarzan and Prince Roden escape and battle valiantly, but unsuccessfully against the Vikings. At the last second, the zomangani, led by Omat invade the Viking village, overcome them and save Tarzan, Prince Roden, Princess Alure, and Fawna. Everyone ends up with the right spouses, the heredity rulers regain control, and peace reigns in the jungle.
The drabble for today, “The Enemy of My Enemy,” is the drabble for today and it was inspired by the story arc, “Tarzan and the Zomangani.”
Prince Roden thanked Tarzan and Omat. He asked Omat why the zomangani came to his aid.
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
Omat replied, “Tarzan’s my friend He looks like your tribesmen. All my life, my rulers told me that your people were evil and we must kill you. I hoped that wasn’t true.”
“Our children are taught the same about you.”
“No belief is stupider than believing that man of another tribe should kill me and that I should kill him because his ruler and mine have a quarrel with each other, even though we two have never met, let alone quarreled with each other!”
TRUTH IN PRINT
July 6: On this day in 1921, the “New Era,” the newspaper in Humestown, Iowa published the fifth installment of their serialization of “A Princess of Mars,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The serialization included several illustrations by Irwin Myers. Myers appears to have been born in Bananza, Nebraska in 1888 and died in New Mexico in 1965. I haven’t been able find much about the artist, but I’ll keep looking.
For details about the serialization and all of Myers illustrations, visit https://www.erbzine.com/mag11/1193.html
Today’s drabble is, “Truth in Print” and it was inspired by the New Era Newspaper’s serialization of “A Princess of Mars.” It features my old friends, Pat and John from New Orleans. A tip of the hat to William Faulkner and Will Rogers. I didn’t include a quote by Mark Twain in today’s drabble, but I thought I’d mention it here. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” I know that has to be true because I read it on the internet and the internet wouldn’t lie to me!
John said, “My mimeographed reproductions of “A Princess of Mars” from the Humestown, Iowa newspaper arrived today.”
TRUTH IN PRINT
Pat replied. “These are a little hard to read, but the illustrations are nice. I’ve never heard of the artist, Irwin Myers.”
“Me neither. I’ve read the first four episodes. I can’t wait to see what happens in episode number five.”
“John, “A Princess of Mars” is fiction. Why is it in a newspaper?”
“William Faulkner said, “The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.”
“John, do you really believe that?”
“All I know is what I read in the papers!”
July 7: On this day in 1893, actress Anna Luther was born in Newark, New Jersey. Anna played the lead in the 1915 three reel film, The Isle of Content,” which ERB believed was based on his novel, “The Cave Girl,” which would make it the first film adaption of an ERB novel. Burroughs accused William Selig, the producer, of ripping him off.
The film is considered a lost film, but “Picture Play Weekly” adapted the film and the story and several still photographs have been preserved and reproduced in their entirety at https://www.erbzine.com/mag23/2380a.html. As the editor, Bill Hillman says, “The reader may make up his own mind as to how closely this story follows ERB’s novel, “The Cave Girl.”
During her lifetime, Anna was embroiled in scandals of a sexual nature involving be the co-respondent in divorce proceedings and violations of the Man Act.
IMDB lists 48 credits for the actress beginning with “Hearts of the Dark” in 1913 and ending with “The Wayward Bus” in 1957.
The drabble for today is, “Unfulfilled Contract” , and it was inspired by the life of Anna Luther, film fatale, on screen and in real life.
The lawyer said, “Miss Luther, remember you're under oath. You claim my client, Jack White, is in violation of his contract with you and also in violation of the Mann Act.”
“He promised he’d star me in four films and he shared my train car on our trip to California.”
“Ma’am, I submit you seduced my client into sharing your room and you abandoned the first film, leaving my client responsible for the costs.”
“Entirely his fault, he never scheduled the time to do things properly. He expected to complete the film prematurely, not unlike his behavior in the boudoir. “
YOU LOOK, BUT DO NOT SEE
July 8: On this day in 2001, the Sunday Tarzan story arc, “Tarzan and Queen Xiona,” concluded. Written by Allan Gross and illustrated by Gray Morrow, the story was the fourth from the last Sunday Tarzan story arc. It was the last to be written by Allan Gross. Gray Morrow would illustrate 6 more episodes, “The Capture of Tarzan,” before turning illustrating duties over to Eric Battle, who would draw the last 39 illustrations. After the Eric Battle / Alex Simmons collaboration ended on May 19, 2002, the strip continued with reprints.
The complete story, “Tarzan and Queen Xiona,” may be viewed in its entirety at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag34/3489.html
Queen Xiona has a flying vehicle that looks like a flying car without wheels. She’s bald and has mental powers. Of course, she does! She and her people are Holy Therns from Barsoom. They capture Tarzan and fly away in their flyer. Jane follows piloting a helicopter. Who knew?
Queen Xiona claims to have known Tarzan for 10,000 years. She calls him the ‘Face of Death,’ and sentences him to a battle to the death with a yellow-orange colored Green Martian. That just seems wrong, doesn’t it?
Jane, meanwhile, captures the Queen. She shaves her own head and disguised herself as the Queen, and helps free Tarzan and the Green Martian. Somehow, she looks just like the Queen and has learned to speak their language. The Queen dies, having finally looked upon Tarzan, the man with “The Face of Death.!” At the end of the story, Tarzan and Jane realize that there is a face on Mars when seen through a telescope. It’s Tarzan’s face.
Tarzan said that he hadn’t noticed.
The 100 word drabble for today is “You Look, But Do Not See,” was inspired from the Tarzan Sunday comic page from July 8, 2001.
Tarzan and Jane returned from battling with the Martian Therns and their queen, Xiona. As they landed at their African estate, Tarzan said, “I love the bright colors on all of our buildings.”
YOU LOOK, BUT DO NOT SEE
“Tarzan, we painted everything years ago.”
“The horse fence is amazing.”
“It’s been there forever,” said Jane.
“Now, why I didn’t know that.”
She landed the helicopter, removed her earphones, pouted and rubbed her bald head, “I can’t imagine why you don’t, but men sometimes miss the most obvious things."
“You’ve done something different with your hair. I love it.”
“Nice save, but a little too late!”
WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE
July 9: On this day in 1926, American comic book artist, Murphy j. Anderson, was born in Asheville, North Carolina. Anderson worked for DC comics for over fifty years, and illustrated John Carter and Korak stories, along with Hawkman, Batgirl, Zatanna, Superman, Superboy, Flash, Spectre, and Adam Strange. During the 1970s, he redrew the heads of Jack Kirby’s Superman and Jimmy Olsen illustrations, because Kirby’s renditions of the characters didn’t look like DC standards for the two.
Anderson illustrated the back-up stories in Tarzan Comic #s 207. 209, 217, and 218. His John Carter of Mars also appeared in Weird Worlds # 1, 2, and 3.
The John Carter of Mars stories are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag55/5571.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “We Who Are About to Die,” was inspired by one of the John Carter stories from Weird Worlds. “Trial of Fear” was written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Murphy J. Anderson.
John Carter and Dejah Thoris appeared in chains before the Thark ruler, Tal Hajus. Carter was accused of being a spy and killing Thark warriors. Carter didn’t understand Thark laws, which were few, or their customs, which were barbaric. Dejah whispered. “You can fight. Keep calm and demand trial by combat.”
WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE
Carter whispered, “Is there no other choice.”
“You can fight one warrior in the arena or fight every warrior in the streets.”
The Tharks laughed. Carter drew his blade and said, “Then I choose combat. On my world it’s considered rude to laugh at a man with a sword!”
July 10: On this day in 2007, the now defunct “Game Advisors Blog” wrote about the Tarzan video game. Game Advisors was a blog about video gaming, not about hunting. The game was developed by Disney Studios and originally released in the 1990s for Nintendo 64, but it had been abandoned – meaning that the Tarzan high-quality three-dimensional game could be played for free. The Blog is effusive in its praise of the game.
The 100 word drabble for today, ‘Nintendo Tarzan,” is an edited excerpt from the blog. I had to edit it, the original grammar and spelling were deplorable. One that I left in place was the phrase ‘very different.’ Things are either different or they’re not. Gradable adjectives can’t be intensified by modifying words such as very, more, and much. It’s very unacceptable (Ha). You can read more of the blog at: https://www.erbzine.com/news/news21.html
Created by professional cartoonists, it’s a beautiful game. Unlike many other similar games which are restricted to two-dimensional space, Tarzan thrills with three-dimensional effects.
The birds fly in three dimensions, and the roads turn in 3D.
The many levels are very different. You have to walk, jump, climb on trees, swim and even run from the herd of scared elephants. The world of Tarzan is just amazing! Flying birds, cute animals, big trees, waterfalls - all the beautiful nature of African jungles. If you love this kind of game, or if you like the film - welcome to the jungles!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
July 11: On this day in 1913, artist Harold W. McCauley was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was a prolific pulp magazine cover artist, but was perhaps best known for creating what became known as the “Mac Girls” for Coca Cola advertisements.
The Goddess of Fire, the second installment of “Escape on Venus,” was published by Fantastic Adventures” in July 1941. The magazine sported a beautiful cover by J. Allen St. John, with a little couturier help from McCauley. In St. John’s painting, the Goddess was painted nude. The editor, Raymond Palmer, asked St. John to paint clothes on the Goddess and St. John refused. Palmer next asked McCauley, a former student of St. John’s, to dress the woman and he responded by clothing her in a diaphanous negligee. This is made even more interesting by the fact that McCauley painted numerous nude covers for sleazy paperbacks in the 1950s and 1960s.
Publishing details about “The Goddess of Fire,” and “Escape on Venus” are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0751.html
I’ve included four illustrations by McCauley with this post, “The Goddess of Fire” cover, two other covers entirely by McCauley, and one sleazy paperback cover by McCauley. Many of his pulp and paperback covers may be viewed at https://pulpcovers.com/tag/haroldwmccauley/
McCauley never illustrated a Burroughs novel, as far as I can determine.
The drabble for today, “Dress For Success,” is a fictional conversation between Raymond Palmer and Harold C. McCauley.
Harold McCauley said, “Ray, to modify St. John’s painting is sacrilege. He was my teacher. I won’t do that.”
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
“He won’t change the painting and I can’t use it unless someone puts some clothes on the goddess. We pay on publication. If it isn’t changed, he doesn’t get paid.”
To quote Shakespeare, “To gild the refined gold, to paint the lily, or to add another hue to the rainbow is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”
“I’ll pay you full cover rates to put clothing on the woman.”
“No, in advance.”
“I’d love to dress her. She looks cold anyway.”
July 12: On this day in 1945, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ article “Unsung Fleet Oilers Carrying Ball for Navy Invasion Team” was published by the Honolulu Advertiser. The newspaper editors added the note, “This is one of a series dealing with an oil tanker which supplies fleet units at sea with all-essential fuel.
The entire article and several more may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag17/1757.html#unsungfleetoilers
Burroughs likened his ship, the USS Cahaba, to a city at sea and extolled it virtues. It was complete with public utilities, a laundry, a bakery, butcher shop, pharmacy, four restaurants, a movie theater, a grocery, a post office, two stores, and a soda fountain. The crew included electricians, carpenters, painters, mechanics, and steel workers. Can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve lived in towns not that well-appointed.
The drabble for today is “Caught Short,” and it is taken directly from ERB’s article.
I’ve compared the ship to a city. Like a city, it has various houses. The rooms have no floors, no walls, no ceilings, ant though there are many levels in the ship there are neither stairs nor passenger elevators. Instead, we have decks, bulkheads, overheads, and ladders.
Being with the Army part of the time and with the Navy part of the time and a civilian all the time is often quite confusing terminologically. One hesitates while determining whether to ask the location of the latrine, the head, or the john. And by that time it may be too late.
LOOSE LIPS, SINK SHIPS
July 13: On this day in 1942, an article by the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs, appeared on the Honolulu Advertiser Editorial page. The article was titled, “Don’t Let ‘Em Kid You, Joe.” It was a reply to a statement made by US Congressman Andrew Jackson May, Chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, who had been quoted as predicting an early United Nations victory in the war and that would make it unnecessary, according to Congressman May from Kentucky, to draft eighteen and nineteen year old men.
The Burroughs article was somewhat prophetic concerning May’s future behavior.
A summary of the article, and several more, may be located at https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0001.html
May became infamous for his disclosure of classified naval information that may have resulted in the loss of ten American submarines and 800 sailors. I used the phrase, 'may have resulted,' but at the time, the media and military were much more direct, blaming blabbermouth May directly for the loss of the submarines. ,After the war ended, he was convicted of bribery and war profiteering. He served nine months in federal prison. In 1952, he received a full pardon from President Harry S. Truman.
In the photo included with this article, Congressman May is the second from the right.
The drabble for today, “Loose Lips, Sink Ships,” was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
"I don’t impugn the loyalty or patriotism of the Gentleman from Kentucky when I assert that [his] statement might have been dictated word by word by Goebbels. It’s an outstanding example of unconscious morale sabotage, tending to lull millions of Americans into a false sense of security.
LOOSE LIPS, SINK SHIPS
"I don't know what sinister shadow darkened Mr. May's mind. It may be publicity or votes. A mind that sees harm in drafting youths of 18 and 19 at this time was darkened by something -- it is the type of mind which multiplied by millions, could cause us to lose the war.
July 14: On this day in 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing his second Barsoom novel, “The Gods of Mars.” The novel was first serialized in five installments in “The All-Story” pulp magazine from January through May 1913. Neither “The Gods of Mars,” nor Edgar Rice Burroughs was featured in the cover illustrations or even mentioned on the covers.
The story begins where “A Princess of Mars” ended. John Carter returns to Barsoom and searches for Dejah Thoris, who believing him dead, has taken the journey down the River Iss into the Valley Dor – a form of ritualistic religious suicide. To over simplify things, he joins with Tars Tarkas to battle the evil Therns, who perpetuate the false religion of Issus, to find Dejah and try to save her.
False religions and the evil of those who perpetuate them are a major theme in the novel. The priests of Issus have taught the Martians to sacrifice themselves by presumably making a ritual journey to their deaths. But the believers, rather than finding death and salvation at the end of the journey, are instead captured by the priests and forced into slavery for the remainder of their lives.
Details about this wonderful novel, an electronic copy of the entire book, and as complete a collection of cover and interior book and magazine illustrations as may be found in one place, go to: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0423.html
The book is believed a treatise against religion by some readers. But, let’s let Burroughs speak for himself. The 100 word drabble for today, “Private God,” was taken from two letters written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the 1920s. The first to his son Hulbert and the second to Father Don Cyprian, a priest with whom ERB corresponded.
“I’ve no quarrel with religion, but in the historic attitude of all the established churches, their sincerity never rings true. I think that there’s been no great change in them through the ages. There’s as much intolerance and hypocrisy as ever, and if any church obtained political power today, you’d see all the injustice, and oppression which has marked the political ascendancy of the church in all times.
“I’m not afraid of my God. I enjoy his company daily in sunshine, flowers, and the beautiful hills and I don’t have to crawl into a dark closet to pray to him.”
July 15: On this day in 1964, the 54th installment of the Tarzan daily story arc, “Tarzan Meets I. B. Pompus” was published. The story arc began on May 11, 1964 and ended 76 pages later, on August 6, 1964. John Celardo wrote and illustrated the strip.
Read most of the story arc at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag46/4610.html
The drabble for today is, “Pug Yellow,” possibly an acronym. It was inspired by the ‘Pompus’ storyline and by rude behavior I’ve encountered over the last few days.
Tarzan confronted Pug Yellow, a member of an ill-fated safari. Pug complained constantly at the top of his voice about things of which he knew nothing. “Silence. Stop squealing like a pig who wishes to gain the attention of his betters hoping his association with them will improve his sad meaningless existence.”
“Are you calling me a pig or saying I’m fat?”
“Your girth and behavior speak for themselves. Your rants don’t make you sound smart or clever, quite the opposite. The loudest pig is first in the stewpot, unless first his oinks lead the lions to where he hides.”
See Days 16 - 31 at ERBzine 7598a
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